About Us

We are Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service

We benefit society and the economy by helping researchers, students and industry drive innovation. We seek opportunities, we build partnerships for mutual benefit, we make the journey easy, and we add value at every stage.



GEORGE BAXTER - Chief Executive Officer

After completing a BSc and a PhD in Chemistry at Glasgow University, Dr George Baxter spent 15 years in sales, marketing and business management with ICI and then AstraZeneca running a number of international businesses. George then joined the North West Development Agency in 2003 as Director of Science and Innovation. Over the next eight years, NWDA led a number of major economic development initiatives including Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, the formation of the N8 group and the Innovation Strategy for the NW of England. He then joined Salford University as Professor of Innovation and Enterprise and subsequently Director of Research and Enterprise. George moved to the University of Nottingham to lead their Directorate of Business Engagement, merged this with the Research Support Office and led the joint operation before moving to Edinburgh Innovations in 2016.

GORDON DONALD - Chief Operating Officer

Gordon Donald is an experienced company and business development director with a 30-year record spearheading revenue growth, strategies and improved performance. Initially beginning his experience in the military, Gordon then moved onto the international oil and gas sector before venturing into the public, energy, telecoms, finance and utility sectors as a principal and managing consultant. Gordon’s past roles have also included: engineering and operations management and director for large capital programmes, before joining Edinburgh Innovations in 2016.

CHRIS COPE - Chief Financial Officer

As a qualified accountant, Chris started his career with Scottish & Newcastle, where he conducted a review of retail and wholesale businesses throughout the UK. The following 11 years were spent with multinational Schlumberger, including five years in France, in a number of Financial Controller positions. Chris then joined the management team at an Edinburgh-based SME that was acquired in a management buyout in 2010, and subsequently successfully sold. Chris has been with Edinburgh Innovations since 2016.

Aileen Appleyard

Aileen Appleyard

Head of Consultancy and Business Services

John Lonsdale

John Lonsdale

Head of Enterprise Services

Ian Sharp

Ian Sharp

Head of Marketing and Engagement

The Edinburgh Innovations story


First Automated Industrial Assembly Robot (Freddy)

The University of Edinburgh forms the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Liaison to promote and encourage collaborations with business. In the same year, the University develops the first Automated Industrial Assembly Robot (Freddy).

Pioneering use of amniocentesis tests in prenatal screenings

Professor David Brock finds that raised amniotic fluid alpha feta-protein is associated in pregnancy with defects such as spina bifida in the child. Professor Brock is one of the first scientists to apply AFP markers to prenatal screening.

New generation of deep-sea diving communications systems

Wolfson Microelectronics Institute develops a new generation of deep-sea diving communications systems.

First artificial vaccine against Hepatitis B

Professor Ken Murray develops the first artificial vaccine against Hepatitis B.

Bioscot Ltd

One of Scotland’s first biotechnology companies, Bioscot Ltd, spins out from the University with collaboration from Heriot-Watt University.

First speech-driven word processor developed

The University is awarded £3m under the Alvey programme to develop the first speech-driven word processor for the Plessey Company. The initiative brings together experts from the departments of linguistics, artificial intelligence and electrical engineering.

Award-winning Smart Wheelchair developed by the University

Award-winning Smart Wheelchair developed by Paul Nisbet in the University of Edinburgh’s CALL Scotland R&D and service centre.

VLSI Vision Ltd spins out to revolutionise the digital camera industry.

Technology developed by VLSI Vision Ltd made the miniaturisation of video cameras a reality and created a wide variety of new applications for this technology, including digital cameras within mobile phones.

A joint spinout from the University of Edinburgh and Napier University develops world's smallest TV screen

The world’s smallest television screen is developed by MicroEmissive Displays Ltd, a joint spinout from the University of Edinburgh and Napier University.  

University startup Pufferfish is commissioned by Coldplay

British rock band Coldplay commissions University spherical display startup Pufferfish for their ‘Viva la Vida’ world tour.

FanDuel launches and Skoog spins out

Startup FanDuel launched and goes on to become global market leader in one-day fantasy sports. Skoogmusic Ltd is spun out to commercialise the Skoog, a ground-breaking musical instrument empowering those unable to play traditional instruments.

pureLiFi spins out

pureLiFi spun out to deliver and develop LiFi communication technology.

Two Big Ears success

Facebook acquires virtual reality audio startup Two Big Ears.

Edinburgh Innovations

Edinburgh Research & Innovation becomes Edinburgh Innovations with a new leadership, new strategic vision and new identity.

Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal

The £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is signed at the University’s newly opened Bayes Centre by Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The next 50 years

Edinburgh Innovations will benefit society and the economy by helping researchers, students and industry drive innovation.


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